You mention Chris Rock and stand up comedy and you’re pretty much talking about the top guy out there. You mention Chris Rock and movies and well…maybe not so much. His voice work in cartoons is fine, but generally, when it comes to the real thing, he’s good to come in for a quick cameo or interesting supporting position. However, when it comes to starring, there’s Head of State, Bad Company, and Down to Earth. He turned around that trend somewhat with the better than expected I Think I Love My Wife in 2007, and now it remains to be seen with his next project, the remake of 2007’s Death at a Funeral, whether he can keep that reversal going.
Variety has it that the cast is coming together for the Neil LaBute-directed comedy, with Martin Lawrence, Danny Glover, Regina Hall, James Marsden, Zoe Saldana, Columbus Short, Loretta Devine and Ron Glass all attached. Here’s the thing about this project though. I generally hear decent things about the original, but with the presence of Martin, I’m hoping this doesn’t turn into something akin to Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins or worse, Madea’s Family Reunion. The scuttlebutt could end up being that with this sporting now a primarily Black cast, Funeral could be aimed at the Tyler Perry crowd which, generally if it’s not done by Tyler Perry himself, doesn’t usually turn out like a Tyler Perry movie does, box office-wise at least.
Anyway, the story centers around a dysfunctional family that comes together during the funeral of the family patriarch. Naturally all the old familial squabbles are renewed, but things really get popping when a man claiming to be the dead patriarch’s gay lover and threatening blackmail shows up. If the allegations are true and the patriarch turns out to be a cross-dresser, this really could end up being a Tyler Perry-less Tyler Perry movie. Funeral is slated to begin production this spring.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey